Journal, 1867-1873.

Rostoptchine, Lydie, comtesse, 1837-1915 [Browse]
  • French
  • Russian
1 v. 20.2 x 13.3 cm


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Biographical/​Historical note
Countess Lydia Rostopchina was born into the upper echelon of 19th century Russian aristocracy. Her paternal grandfather was Count Fyodor Vasilyevich Rostopchin (1763-1826), who was appointed military governor of Moscow in May 1812 and is believed to be the one who ordered the evacuated city be burned to the ground to prevent Napoleon's army from seizing control of it. Lydia's mother, Evdokia Petrovna Rostopchina, née Sushkova (1812-1858) was a respected and published poet during her lifetime. Lydia Rostopchina also published work in both Russian and French, including a short novel entitled "Paduchaya zvezda" [A shooting star] (1886) in the Russian literary journal Russkiy vestnik, a semi-satirical novel in French, entitled "Rastaquouéropolis", and another novella entitled "Les Rastas de Monte-Carlo". She also was actively involved in editing and publishing her mother's poetry and letters, including a volume that was released in 1890.
Summary note
An unpublished manuscript journal of a highly literate female aristocrat, containing meticulous notes of six years of extensive reading of Russian, French and other European literature, history and philosophy. In particular, Countess Rostopchina records her opinions of recently published works of Russian literature, such as Tolstoy's War and Peace, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and other works by Turgenev, Goncharov, George Sand, Flaubert, and Charlotte Brontë. She also provides lengthy personal commentaries on Charles Dickens, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pascal, and many more authors throughout the journal. There are also essay-like reflections concerning the lives of her family members and their wider social circle through the manuscript. Written mainly in French with some titles and passages in Russian, and several quotes in English.
Binding note
Bound in contemporary black chagrin-covered boards, backed in modern leather.
Source acquisition
Purchase, 2017. AM 2018-51.
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